Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is one of the most common oral mucosal disorders. The aim of the study was to determine any association between anxiety levels and concentrations of salivary and serum cortisol in patients with RAS. It has been suggested that stress with its presumed effects on the immune system, constitutes one of the major causative agents of RAS. The concentrations of salivary and serum cortisol were measured in 38 patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis, and 38 healthy controls. Salivary and serum cortisol levels were measured using a Luminenscent Immunoassay (LIA) method. Anxiety levels were evaluated using Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory which measures both trait anxiety as a general aspect of personality (STAI-T) and state anxiety as a response to a specific situation (STAI-S). The salivary cortisol levels were 1.44 (± 0.58) μg dl-1 in RAS patients and 0.91 (± 0.56) μg dl-1 in controls (p = 0.001), while the serum cortisol levels were 3.13 (± 1.59) μg dl-1 in RAS patients and 1.89 (± 1.11) μg dl-1 in controls (p = 0.001). The state anxiety levels (STAI-S) were 48.85 (± 9.7) in RAS group and 39.45 (± 7.5) in control group (p = 0.001). The trait anxiety levels (STAI-T) were 49.78 (± 13.02) in RAS group and 38.49 (± 10.31) in control group (p = 0.001). Salivary and serum cortisol concentrations and state and trait anxiety levels in RAS were significantly higher than those in the control group. Our results suggest that stress may be involved in the pathogenesis of RAS.
Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is a rare and severe hereditary dermatosis. On the other hand, IgA nephropathy is the most common form of glomerulonephritis in childhood and adults, and clinically characterized by microhematuria and proteinuria and histologically by deposition of immunoglobulin A in mesangial lesions. Several renal complications of recessive DEB including IgA nephropathy and amyloidosis have been reported. However, there have been no reports on dominant DEB associated with IgA nephropathy. We report here for the first time a 17-year-old girl with dominant DEB associated with IgA nephropathy. The patient has suffered from episodes of urinary, upper airway, and skin infections. At 17 years of age, proteinuria and hematuria were detected, with a high value of serum IgA. Renal biopsy was performed, and immunofluorescence microscopic examination revealed segmental deposits of IgA in mesangial lesions, with many glomeruli exhibiting diffuse segmental mesangial-proliferative glomerulonephritis. We diagnosed dominant DEB associated with IgA nephropathy on the basis of proteinuria, hematuria, and deposits of IgA in mesangial lesions on immunofluorescence microscopic examination, and diffuse segmental mesangial-proliferative glomerulonephritis. These findings suggest that repeated skin infections might have contributed to the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy in this patient.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by selective motor neuron death. We developed a rat model of ALS expressing a human cytosolic copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) transgene with two ALS-associated mutations: glycine to alanine at position 93 (G93A) and histidine to arginine at position 46 (H46R). Although the mechanism of ALS is still unclear, there are many hypotheses concerning its cause, including loss of neurotrophic support to motor neurons. Recent evidence suggests that insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) act as neurotrophic factors, and promote the survival and differentiation of neuronal cells including motor neurons. Their ability to enhance the outgrowth of spinal motor neurons suggests their potential as a therapeutic agent for the patients with ALS. In this study, we investigated IGF-II receptor immunoreactivity in the anterior horns of the lumbar level of the spinal cord in SOD1 transgenic rats with the H46R mutation of different ages as well as in normal littermates. The double-immunostaining for IGF-II receptor and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) demonstrated co-localization on reactive astrocytes (**p < 0.001) in the end-stage transgenic rats, whereas it was not evident at the pre-symptomatic stage or at the onset of the disease. Our results demonstrated the IGF-II receptor up-regulation in reactive astrocytes in the spinal cord of transgenic rats, which may reflect a protective response against the loss of IGF-related trophic factors. We suggest that IGF receptors may play a key role in the pathogenesis, and may have therapeutic implications in ALS.
A large number of hospitalized patients have an indwelling urinary tract catheter (IUC) placed at some time during their hospital stay and may suffer from catheter-associated urinary tract infections, the leading cause of nosocomial infections. Here we investigated the prevalence of uropathogens associated with catheter-associated urinary tract infections and assessed the resistances of these pathogens to commonly prescribed antibiotics. In total, 2,997 urine samples were examined at a regional hospital in Taipei, Taiwan in 2004: 1,948 (65%) samples from hospitalized patients and 1,049 (35%) samples from outpatients. Patients with IUCs accounted for 1,381 samples (46%). Stratified analyses were used to calculate the age- and gender-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of antimicrobial resistance associated with the use of IUCs. Compared to the urine specimens of the patients without IUCs, those isolated from catheterized patients had a lower prevalence rate of Escherichia (E.) coli (23.4% vs 36.8%) and higher rates of resistant strains including Pseudomonas species (16.4% vs 8.6%) and rare gram-negative bacilli (5.8% vs 4.5%). Additionally, IUCs significantly increased the antimicrobial resistance of E. coli (OR 2.41-3.07), other species of Enterobacteriaceae (OR 1.57-2.38), and rare gram-negative bacilli (OR 2.41-5.21) to nearly all antibiotics tested, such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Thus, IUCs increased the prevalence of urinary tract infections caused by some highly resistant pathogens. Moreover, IUCs were associated with the increased risk of concurrent resistance of Enterobacteriaceae. Clinicians are advised to exercise better management of urinary catheter in order to further reduce and control catheter-associated urinary tract infections in hospitals.
Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) is an enzyme present in serum and on most cell surfaces and serves as an oxidative stress marker. Although serum GGT is associated with hypertension development, little data are available on the associations between GGT and hypertension among populations with diabetes mellitus (DM). Our aim was to investigate the potential association between the changes in systolic or diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP) and the GGT level in type 2 DM subjects, in comparison with non-DM subjects. In 179 non-DM and 177 DM subjects, SBP/DBP, body mass index (BMI), fasting plasma glucose, serum asparate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and GGT were measured at the baseline and after a 1-year period. Between these 2-measurement points, in non-DM subjects, SBP and DBP levels were significantly increased, while GGT tended to increase. In contrast, in DM subjects, the mean levels of SBP, DBP and GGT remained unchanged. Multivariate analysis revealed that in non-DM subjects the degree of increase in SBP was significantly and positively correlated to that of GGT (β = 0.165), along with age and BMI. Likewise, the increase in DBP was correlated to that of GGT in non-DM subjects (β = 0.170). In contrast, in DM subjects, the degree of increase in SBP was significantly correlated to that of only GGT (β = 0.166). These results suggest that the presence of DM may attenuate the effects of GGT on DBP.
Patients with severe neurological disorders often require enteral nutrition (EN). Since long-term EN can cause multiple complications, reinstating the oral intake of food is beneficial. Olfactory stimulation using black pepper oil (BPO), a strong appetite stimulant, was reported to facilitate swallowing in older people. Therefore, the effects of olfactory stimulation with BPO were investigated in pediatric patients receiving long-term EN due to neurological disorders. The effects of scenting with BPO for 1 min immediately before every meal were evaluated in ten patients: 4 boys and 6 girls, aged 19-97 months (51 ± 26 months). The neurological disorders included periventricular leukomalacia (3 patients), hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (3), Costello syndrome (1), Russell-Silver syndrome (1), Miller-Dieker syndrome (1), and cerebral palsy of unknown etiology (1). In eight of these patients, BPO intervention was continued for 3 months. Five of these eight patients showed increases in the amount of oral intake with desirable effects including facilitated swallowing movement, although complete elimination of the need for EN was not achieved. In the other three patients, BPO intervention was not effective; severe cerebral tissue loss, profound malformation or intractable seizures seemed to reduce the efficacy of BPO. In two cases, BPO intervention was discontinued due to cough or because the odor of BPO was unbearable to the family. In conclusion, olfactory stimulation with BPO facilitated oral intake in a subset of patients on long-term EN. BPO stimulation may be useful for facilitating oral intake when used in combination with conventional methods.
Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a common systemic vasculitis of childhood, and may affect the kidney. Endothelial cell dysfunction and fibrosis is an important part of HSP vasculitis and may account for renal involvement in HSP. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 enhances the cytokine-induced expression of adhesion molecules in endothelial cells (EC). Besides, IGF-1 may stimulate angiogenesis, fibrosis and tubular formation in EC and IGF-1 increases glomerular filtration rate. We, therefore, investigated the role of IGF-1 and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) in HSP. The study included 44 patients with HSP (30 boys and 14 girls), including 13 patients with proteinuria, 15 patients with hematuria and 16 patients with positive stool occult blood (SOB), and 26 healthy children. Serum levels of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels were significantly higher in HSP than in the controls (147.9 ± 121.6 vs 95.7 ± 67.8 ng/ml, p = 0.024 and 4.4 ± 2.2 vs 2.3 ± 0.9 μg/ml, p = 0.001, respectively). Serum IGF-1 levels were significantly higher in HSP with proteinuria than those without proteinuria and controls (p = 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively). Also, IGFBP-3 levels were greater in HSP with proteinuria compared to those without proteinuria and controls (p = 0.005 and p = 0.0001). Serum immunoglobulin-A/complement-C3 ratio was higher in HSP than in the controls (p = 0.0001) but this ratio did not change according to proteinuria, hematuria or positive SOB. In conclusion, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels could be new markers for determination of renal involvement in HSP.
Statins, inhibitors of cholesterol synthesis, are used to prevent cardiovascular complications. Moreover, statins have been shown to influence some cognitive functions. The modulating effects of simvastatin, one member of the statin family, on memory-related neurotransmitters and neuronal structures have also been reported. We aimed to investigate the behavioral effects of long-term simvastatin application on daily activity, psychomotor performance and spatial memory using Sprague−Dawley rats. Simvastatin (10 or 30 mg/kg/day) was administered orally to rats, in parallel with a vehicle-treated group. Daily activity test results of both simvastatin groups were found similar to the vehicle group after five weeks of simvastatin or vehicle application. Psychomotor performance was measured with the rotarod test. After 6 weeks of simvastatin or vehicle application, the vehicle-treated group stayed on the rotarod device for a shorter time compared with both simvastatin-treated groups. Spatial memory was evaluated by the Barnes maze test. Four weeks of 10 mg/kg/day simvastatin application led to poorer scores on spatial memory compared to the vehicle group, but surprisingly, this effect was not seen in the 30 mg/kg/day group. Our results revealed that simvastatin administration had no significant effect on daily activity. Psychomotor performance test results suggested that simvastatin alters psychomotor behavior at higher nervous system levels. Spatial memory test results indicate that long-term simvastatin usage impairs spatial memory only at 10 mg/kg/day dose.
Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) is caused by a fibrin clot in central retinal vein and is one of the intractable diseases that deteriorate visual acuities. Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) is a thrombolytic agent that has a high affinity for fibrin and that activates plasminogen into plasmin. Injection of TPA into the retinal vein was helpful to treat CRVO. But TPA injection into retinal vein was difficult for clinical use, because TPA solution was transparent and confirmation of its injection was not easy. Indocyanine green (ICG) has been used as an angiographic agent and a tissue-marking agent in ocular surgeries. We studied the effectiveness and safety of ICG assisted injection of TPA into the retinal vein in rabbits. The major retinal vein was punctured using a micropipette fabricated from a glass tube, then TPA/ICG was injected. Total of 12 eyes and 5 eyes were enucleated 7 days and 1 month after injection of TPA/ICG for histological observations including immunostaining of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and TUNEL staining, respectively. GFAP is expressed in Müller cells under pathologic conditions and indicates retinal damages. TUNEL indicates apoptosis of sensory retina cells. Retinal vein cannulation was easily performed, as retinal vein became green following injection of TPA/ICG. Histologically, no retinal damages, due to the TPA/ICG solution, were observed. GFAP and TUNEL staining were negative. TPA/ICG causes no disturbance in retinal circulation when performed correctly. Because of its safety, ICG is a useful agent as a guide for retinal vein injection of TPA.
Carcinomatous meningitis is a severe complication of lung cancer. Although treatment with gefitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor, has been reported to be highly effective against lung cancers harboring a mutated EGF gene, its effect against carcinomatous meningitis is unknown. Here, we report successful treatment of carcinomatous meningitis with gefitinib in a lung cancer patient suffered from meningeal metastasis. A 62-year-old, non-smoking, Japanese male was admitted for headache, failing vision, and temporary loss of consciousness and was subsequently diagnosed with stage IV lung adenocarcinoma and carcinomatous meningitis. A tumor sample revealed the in-frame deletion of codons 746 to 750 (E746 to A750) in exon 19 of the EGF gene, which leads to constitutive activation of the tyrosine kinase domain and high-affinity binding of gefitinib. The patient's performance status was poor owing to progression of the meningitis and elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure. Combined treatment with gefitinib (250 mg/day) and whole-brain irradiation (36 Gray total) proved to be effective. It is noteworthy that the level of gefitinib in the CSF was less than 1% of the serum level (serum: 117 nM before drug re-administration and 132 nM 2 hrs later; CSF: 0.9 nM both before and 2 hrs after drug re-administration). Gefitinib treatment should be considered for patients with carcinomatous meningitis and lung adenocarcinoma harboring a mutated EGF gene.
A close relationship between coffee intake and certain metabolic disorders is known. Caffeine, one of coffee components, can increase energy expenditure (EE), but there are considerable individual differences in the caffeine effects on EE, and the causes have not been fully established in humans. The Arg allele in the β3-adrenergic receptor gene (β3-AR), a marker for obesity-related traits, may be a contributor to individual variations in EE. This study investigated the effect of the Arg allele of β3-AR on caffeine-induced increases in EE. In 44 healthy young women (21 ± 1 years), physical characteristics, blood pressure, biochemical profiles and dietary nutritional intake were measured. A caffeine-loading test was conducted at a dosage of 4 mg per body weight (kg). EE was measured using an indirect open-circuit calorimeter for a 10-min period before, and at 30 min and 60 min after the caffeine-loading test. The β3-AR Trp64Arg polymorphism was detected with a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. The frequency of the Arg allele was 24%. The distribution of the Trp/Trp, Trp/Arg, and Arg/Arg genotypes was 58%, 36%, and 6%, respectively. At the baseline, subjects with the Arg/Arg genotype had a significantly lower EE level than those with the Trp/Trp or Trp/Arg genotype. After the caffeine-loading test, there were caffeine-induced increases in EE in all genotypes, but there were no differences in the levels of increase among the genotypes. These findings suggest that the genotypes of β3-AR Trp64Arg polymorphism might be not associated with caffeine-induced increases in EE levels.